The New York Jets are in the market for a quarterback this offseason and there are two names being thrown around for them consistently. One is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has hinted several times over the last few seasons about his time in the Frozen Tundra coming to an end. The other is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is set to enter another round of contentious contract talks with his team. According to Peter King, Rodgers is the first choice for the Jets and Jackson is the backup option.
Oh my: @peter_king says the No. 1 step for #Jets is #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers ‘if that doesn’t work could the No. 2 step be Lamar Jackson?’ + ‘I think NYJ will at least put their sniffers out & seriously consider Lamar’ if they can’t get A-Rod @RichEisenShow @richeisen pic.twitter.com/QTsS3trMLp— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) February 16, 2023
The most important note here is the Jets have to trade for either guy. They cannot sign either player outright since neither is a free agent. That makes things tricky from a negotiation standpoint, because Green Bay and Baltimore aren’t obligated to help the Jets out. New York does have its full arsenal of draft picks in the first three rounds for the next four years, so the front office has plenty of assets to make a deal. The question now is who they should deal for.
Rodgers won NFL MVP in 2020 and 2021, but is coming off a bad 2022 season which saw him decline substantially in key areas. He’s also 39, so the Jets certainly have to wonder how long they’ll have him for. New York’s skill positions and defense are good enough to compete with competence at quarterback, and Rodgers is more than competent if he is healthy. He’s the safer choice given his recent success and the fact he was playing through injuries and adjusting to new talent for most of the 2022 season.
Jackson is the more dynamic quarterback, bringing a mobility element Rodgers no longer has. The one issue with Jackson is health. He’s suffered two serious injuries in the last two seasons, and his playing style opens him up to more hits than most quarterbacks. He’s also not as effective as a quarterback if his running ability is taken away, so ironically what makes him a great player is also one of his most concerning points. Age is on Jackson’s side and if the Jets are willing to make him a long-term offer the Ravens won’t, we could see No. 8 in New York.
It makes sense for the Jets to pursue Rodgers first given their current roster. If that pursuit fails, it looks like the Ravens and Jackson are headed for a clear split and the Jets can swoop in.